The Boone Central Cardinals earned that distinction Thursday with a 21-13 victory over C1-8 District foe Central City at the Boone Central Athletic Field in Albion.
With the win, the Cardinals also put themselves in position to host a Qualifying Round game in the 2011 Class C1 state playoffs. Boone Central (6-2), #6 seed in the C1 west bracket, will face #11 Gordon/Rushville (4-4) Thursday in Albion (6 p.m.).
In a back-and-forth, up-and-down contest, Boone Central took a 21-6 4th quarter lead over the Bison last week, but did not ultimately seal the decision until gaining a key first down in the final minutes of play.
While pleased with the outcome, Cardinal Coach Arnie Johnson still feels his team has untapped potential.
“We are pleased that this team was able to again start the tradition of Boone Central winning its district,” Johnson commented. “I believe we are still a team that can get better.
“We have the ability to beat teams like Central City by a wider margin. We are looking forward to the playoffs and we’ll see if our execution can get a little better.”
Execution, or consistent lack of, helped keep Thursday’s contest in doubt. Boone Central committed four turnovers (two fumbles, two interceptions) and was penalized seven times.
Boone Central did take a 14-6 halftime lead and held the 21-6 advantage midway through the final period, but Central City continued to challenge throughout. The Cardinal defense made three key defensive stands during the contest to hold the visitors at bay and, after the Bison closed to within eight points with 3:10 to play, the BC offense gained two important first downs that allowed the Cards to run out the clock.
Further details in Print & Online Editions of Albion News.